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By | Paul Kunert 22nd October 2012 10:17

Avnet devours reseller BrightStar Partners

'We're buying it for the services, don't ya know'

Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS) continues to expand its IT services biz after hoovering up an IBM reseller stateside that also houses a consultancy and software operation.

The distie titan has already blurred the traditional business boundaries between wholesalers and solution providers by acquiring Pepperweed Consulting, Mattelli and Ascendant Technology.

Now it has added IBM Cognos Performance Management consultancy BrightStar Partners (BSP), which punts business intelligence, financial performance, enterprise scorecarding and data warehousing.

The deal also includes sister firm BSP Software Solutions, which develops and distributes Implementation-Based Software applications that support Big Blue's Cognos software.

BSP Software Solutions owns and operates COGNOiSe.com, which it claims is the largest independent peer-to-peer collaborative IBM support community.

The deals are "past of our long term strategy to enhance the depth of our IBM services and software capabilities while providing the expertise our partners need," said ATS Americas boss Jeff Bawol.

In calendar 2011 BSP firms turned over over $10m, but the financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

As margin on hardware and software continues to erode, distributors are looking for ways to build higher margin services businesses with demand for such operations from some SME resellers.

The Channel has previously spoken to ATS global boss Phil Gallagher about the potential conflict of interest that this model presents.

He told us in March, following the buy of Ascendant Technology, that there was virtually no overlap with the businesses of its existing customers.

But he said the types of services Avnet offers "changes as technology changes" and insisted there was demand for them from channel customers. ®

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